In Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise editions, Client Hyper-V is included as an available feature. Client Hyper-V enables the configuration and running of full Hyper-V VMs on a Windows 8 computer with the appropriate hardware. You can use Client Hyper-V to provide additional VM resources for users, typically to support the following scenarios:
- Backward compatibility for applications. Run application under previous versions of Windows running in a local VM.
- Software development. Enable developers to have separate VMs for software development.
- Testing. Users may perform testing of software releases or updates in separate VMs to take advantage of snapshot capabilities. You can also move VMs from Windows Server 2012 servers running Hyper-V to Client Hyper-V for scenario testing.
Windows 8 Client Hyper-V offers the following capabilities:
- VMs can use up to 32 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and 1 TB of RAM.
- VMs support 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems.
- VM storage can reside on USB or SMB storage and supports live migration.
- Host computer hardware requires a 64-bit processor supporting single-level address translation (SLAT), in addition to data execution prevention (DEP) and the Intel no execute (NX) or AMD execute disable (XD) bit in the computer BIOS.
- VMs can run on mobile computers that support wireless network connectivity for VMs. VMs are also automatically saved when the computer is put into a power saving state.
- Guest VMs running on the computer can support rich multimedia, VoIP, and touch capabilities.
- You can move VMs between Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Hyper-V implementations without reconfiguration. VMs no longer require export operations prior to moving.
- Windows 8 supports mounting virtual hard disks (VHDs) directly to the host OS, or booting the physical hardware from the VHD in an alternate boot scenario.